-Look you have to grade on a curve somewhat, but the fact is the production just isn’t there for Robert Griffin III. Yes his overall yardage is pretty good (11th in the NFL), but too much of that is still garbage time work. If you look at the various rankings that quarterbacks are judged on he doesn’t fare well in any of the categories (out of 34 qualified QB’s):
Completion %: 22nd TD%: 27th INT%: Tied 23rd Yards per Attempt: 18th QB Rating: 23rd QBR (which includes rushing): 24th
Is it all on Griffin? Absolutely not. The play of the OL and WR’s has been worst than expected and the play calling has been horrendous, but a lot of it is on Griffin. Griffin is struggling to feel pressure and this has led to more turnovers (not just the INT’s) and poor throws. He’s locking into receivers and not going through his progressions fast enough. Also just more of his balls are off target this year. Now he shouldn’t be throwing as much as he is, which is compounding the problem, but Griffin needs to pick up his game in these final 8 weeks.
–Alfred Morris is again one of the top 5 backs in the league as a runner. He’s got exceptional vision and rarely goes down on the first hit. The only real negative here is the fact that he’s being under-utilized, averaging fewer than 20 carries a game. Roy Helu Jr. has shown himself to be a good number two back and a nice weapon out of the backfield. Darrel Young remains one of the better fullbacks in the league and is coming off a three TD day in the win over the Chargers.
-Fred Davis was re-signed despite the fact that he was recovering from an Achilles injury, and has been a huge disappointment. Davis has been inactive more games than he’s played and when he did play he didn’t offer much in terms of production. The bright spot of this unit has been rookie Jordan Reed who has been one of the top skill position rookies in the league this year. He’s quickly become a mis-match nightmare for opposing defenses and one of Griffin’s favorite targets. Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul have been solid in their roles with the team as well, though Paulsen’s blocking isn’t as sharp as it was a year ago.
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–Pierre Garcon might not be a top 10 receiver, but he’s playing very well this year. There have been some issues with him and Griffin not fully being on the same page, but for the most part he’s getting open and making some spectacular catches. The rest of the receiver group is a big question mark, and definitely down from last year, though Hankerson has had some solid games and Moss made a couple key plays early in the season. The Redskins need more production out of this group as a whole, but with Garcon the group has been at least decent.
-The line is actually giving up a far better sack percentage than a year ago, but that only tells part of the story. While sacks are down, pressure remains high and Griffin is getting hit far too often. While some of that is on Griffin for holding on to the ball too long, the line needs to do a better job of protecting their guy. While the run blocking as a whole is better, it’s been very inconsistent. Too often one or more players will miss their blocking assignment which in a zone scheme means no gain or 1 yard runs. Obviously you aren’t going to get perfect blocking every time, but it should be better overall. Finally penalties still remain an issue for this line, and they have to cut back on them.
-This to me has been the biggest problem on offense. While you can maybe point to some limitations on what they can call given Griffin’s injury, that is too much of an overall excuse. The fact of the matter is they are asking a “rusty” 2nd year quarterback who has basically zero drop back experience to be a pocket passer. And not only are they asking him to do that, but they are asking him to do it 60% of the time. The Redskins aren’t built to be a passing team, and their play calling is holding the team back. In addition there hasn’t been much of an adjustment in bringing in extra blockers to protect your franchise quarterback from the variety of blitzes he’s seeing on a weekly basis. Each week the Redskins just seem unprepared for what defenses are doing and it is costing them.